A short fic from my Say Anything AU.
It was around three in the morning, and Jason did not want to go back to sleep. He sat on the grass, with his back against the trailer. The sound of sleeping animals, both from the circus and from the wild, echoed over the soft breeze. The wind was delicate, and pleasing against his hot skin. It dried the sweat from his cheeks, the lingering effect of a nightmare.
Dick knew that Jason was waking up in the middle of the night and not going back to sleep. At first he thought it was because Jason was having a problem adjusting to life outside Gotham, but then Dick realized it might be because of something different. What that something was, he did not know. Every other night, he could feel the shift in the mattress as Jason sat up. He could hear the young teenager breathing, like he could not catch his breath. Then he'd crawl off and leave the trailer.
At first, Dick thought he would only be gone for a few minutes, and so he would doze off. In the morning, Jason was always awake before Dick was, and Dick never questioned it.
It was happening more frequently, and Dick was starting to worry. This time, Jason was going to find out why. A few minutes after Jason left the trailer, Dick sat up. He pushed the mattress back into its compartment and quietly exited.
As he predicted, he found Jason sitting outside, what he did not expect was to see a cigarette hanging out of his mouth.
"Should you really be doing that?" Dick sat down beside him, his eyes on the cigarette.
"I'll be fine." Jason shrugged, "I kinda need it, anyway why are you awake so early?" he quickly changed the subject.
"I can't sleep without you, I get scared." Dick playfully teased, and kissed Jason on the cheek. He stroked Jason's curly hair, and asked, "Now you tell me, why are you awake?"
"It's too fucking quiet out here." Jason half lied, putting out his cigarette against the dirt. He was not ready to reveal everything. He had seen things that he hoped Dick would never have to witness. There was horrors that lurked in the back of his mind, and scars that did not need to be reopened.
Dick could tell by the tone in his lover's voice, that he was not saying the truth, "You can tell me anything." Dick set his head on Jason's shoulder.
Jason laced his and Dick's fingers together, "I have nightmares." that was all he was going to tell him. He did not need to know anymore than that statement, and Jason was not going say anything more.
That was the last thing Dick expected to hear, "Nightmares?" he repeated, suddenly feeling like he needed to hold Jason tighter. He wanted to protect his little brother.
Biting on his lip, Jason nodded, "Yeah." he shut his eyes, and let out a deep sigh. His eyes traced the stars, he had no idea how beautiful the sky could be. It was the perfect distraction.
"No, I don't want to talk about it." Jason snapped, letting go of Dick's hand.
Dick rolled his eyes, he wrapped an arm around Jason and held him close. He did not need to say anything out loud for Jason to understand what he was trying to tell him. Jason trusted Dick with his life, and not only because he saved his life before but because he knew the man holding him in his arms was someone that he loved.
For the moment, he felt safe in Dick's arms. The peace was going to last for only a few hours, and after those few hours, Jason knew he was going to get hit with another bad dream.
Once the sun rose, Jason's was startled awake, his body stiffed with a gasp. His eyes snapped open. It only took a few seconds for his eyes to adjust. Sitting up, he realized he was back on the mattress, and Dick was laying right next to him. The acrobat's eyebrows were knitted in worry. Although he wanted to know what was bothering Jason so much so he could help him heal, he knew it was not a good idea to push the topic.
Realizing it was a nightmare, and that he was not in danger, Jason calmed and he laid back down. Dick pressed his lips to his forehead, "When you're ready to talk about it, I'll listen."